Welcome, brave adventurers…
… to the twelfth entry into the Heroes Rise chronicle. This episode was recorded on Saturday, 17th February 2018, and made available for download on Wednesday, 21st February 2018 at heroesrisepodcast.com
In this week’s Adventurer’s Pack, Lennon gives us a tool for making pornog– I mean, maps. Next, we take a look at some D&D News as we cover:
- D&D Beyond’s videos on Halflings and Dwarves
- The latest Unearthed Arcana on going where no one has gone before
- And we answer a frustrated DM’s letter about metagaming
After that we take a Short Rest with our Adventurer’s Journals for some tips on party composition; before finishing off the show by looking into the Scrying Pool to see what you have to say.
- Intro: 00:00
- Adventurer’s Pack: 1:38
- News: 9:00
- D&D Beyond: 9:00
- Unearthed Arcana: 12:34
- Listener Letters: Metagaming: 20:03
- Short Rest: 35:16
- Scrying Pool: 43:20
- Community Question: 50:04
- Outro: 50:29
- D&D Beyond: Dwarves in D&D
- D&D Beyond: Halfings in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
- Unearthed Arcana: Into the Wild
A Short Rest: Party Composition
This Week’s Community Questions
Do you have any advice for our Frustrated DM on discouraging player knowledge and metagaming?
And do you ever take your players into the wild? Do you believe that raw exploration can be an engaging part of a campaign?
What’s your take on Random encounters: entertaining diversions or annoying breaks in the adventure?
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Party “balance” be damned! There. I said it. Moving on…
Great answers for Frustrated DM re: metagaming. I’ve been fortunate that my players have mostly checked themselves in that regard and are more focused on roleplaying their own characters than unwisely trying to outwit me at the table. As Ostron mentioned, some of the struggles sound like the growing pains of a new DM and all of the other advice was well-said and should be easy to incorporate into Frustrated DM’s approach.
Neither of my campaigns has gone off-road yet, but I like the look of the Into The Wild UA as some fun prompts for my players with the Outlander background.
And I’ve yet to find an occasion for a truly “random” encounter. I spend a fair bit of time linking everything into the overall story. If there are bandits on the road to spice travelling up, are they technically “random”? I’ve yet to actually have my players in a “dungeon” per se… and even then, I’ll want the monstrous ecosystem to make sense. I guess I like maintaining that internal logic for an ongoing campaign…with everything except economics – there’s a rabbit hole worth sidestepping. I digress. Randomness seems to fit one-shot-style crawls better, to my way of thinking.
First, what a good discussion! I know as I’ve played the game, I’ve swung back and forth on how strict (or indifferent) I am towards metagaming. In general, I allow a decent amount of metagaming, though it’s more because most of my players are focused on problem solving and not power gaming. In my experience, at least SOME meta is required, especially in harder published campaigns, if you want to have a remote chance of surviving. Example: Very early in the Strahd campaign, there is a creature that is pretty powerful for very low level characters. If you know what the creature is, you know to run. If you don’t and try to fight, you immediately get walloped, at which point it’s already too late to retreat. Those of you that have played Curse of Strahd know this creature well, as it caused a great deal of saltiness when our group encountered it. It’s a bit of a ‘gotcha’ that does a good job setting the tone for the campaign, but is tremendously frustrating if you don’t know what it is.
Should you fully restrict metagaming, you can potentially force players to march their characters to their deaths, which can be heavily demoralizing if you have a Knight-style of player who is attached to their character; on the other hand, should you not care at all, that one power gamer can ruin the experience for everyone else. In short, it takes both mature players and DMs to work together to maximize the fun. If players and DMs are fighting each other, something’s gone wrong.
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